VIJAYAWADA: Finding no wrong in holding of unanimous elections, state election commissioner (SEC) N. Ramesh Kumar, however, instructed officials to keep a close watch on them. “Take appropriate decision in case the number of such unanimous elections is high,” he observed.
Speaking to media persons here on Wednesday, the election commissioner underlined that unanimous elections have been an age-old practice, where villagers elected only elders, whom they trusted for their capability and efficiency. He ruled out any wrong in case some ward members and sarpanches are elected unanimously in the ensuing gram panchayat polls get in Andhra Pradesh.
Referring to objections raised by certain political parties on state government incentivising unanimous elections, the SEC said their apprehensions have been taken into consideration.
Accordingly, officials have been instructed to ensure due diligence in case of unanimous elections if their number went up beyond reason.
The election commissioner took a critical view of advertisements encouraging unanimous elections in a section of the media. He maintained that the commission has not been consulted in this regard. Following this, he has called for an explanation from commissioners of information and panchayat raj departments.
The SEC sounded confident of holding gram panchayat polls as scheduled peacefully, as the chief secretary and director general of police are extending all cooperation. On adverse reactions from a section of employees fearing safety for their lives, he expressed optimism that the commission would get their support in holding of the polls.
Explaining his requisition for enrolling himself as voter at his native village Duggirala in Guntur district though he was not residing locally, Ramesh Kumar said with an expectation of exercising his vote in ensuing gram panchayat polls, he had surrendered his vote in Hyderabad.
He said he is disappointed that his request for enrolling as voter in Duggirala has been rejected. However, he said he would apply to the district collector to register him as a voter. He cautioned that if he failed to become a voter, he would not hesitate to move the judiciary.
Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict on PR polls, which eased the tense situation in AP with regard to panchayat elections, the SEC cautioned that if there are any violations in conduct of polls, the commission would certainly move judiciary.